Update 5/16/2005: The Spanish Makalu West pillar expedition:
May 16, 2005
A guide of the 'Al filo de lo imposible' expedition dies.
One of the
guides (Sherpa) who was with the expedition of the TVE's show 'Al filo de lo
imposible' which is climbing Makalu, died yesterday. The Director of 'Al filo
de lo imposible', Sebastián Álvaro, and Chief of the Expedition of the
Military Group of High Mountain, commander Alberto Ayora, tell how it happened
in the following note.
May 15, when the entire expedition was in Makalu's base camp, located at some
5,400 meters, waiting for the weather to improve to start the final summit
attempt, one of the Sherpas in charge of the kitchen, Sumbu Sherpa, fell sick.
Immediately all the members of the expedition started to work to stop the
sickness, with medical commander Santiago Villanueva leading. Santiago
Villanueva has participated in several of our expeditions in such complicated
places like the North Pole, Mount Pobeda, Cho Oyu and Dhaulagiri, and has wide
experience as intensive care doctor. The first symptoms we could see were
those of pulmonary edema, although a heart attack could not be discarded. It
was surprising how fast it ended, because this Sherpa had a great experience
in numerous expeditions, because he had been more than a month in base camp,
without any previous symptoms, and because his work was to supply water for
the base camp from a little creek nearby. Since nine twenty five until eleven
forty five in the evening, our entire group fought to save this man, using all
the resources at our reach. Medicinal oxygen, hyperbaric chamber and
medicines like Desametasona and Nifedipine were used. Despite all our
efforts, around ten fifteen he went into cardiac and respiratory arrest.
During almost one hour and a half our teammates took turns to give cardiac
massage and artificial ventilation, administering intravenous adrenaline. At
a quarter to twelve we gave up and we could only accept the inevitable death
of Sumbu Sherpa. At 5,400 meters of altitude, in one of the most desolate
places of the planet, there was nothing else we could possible do.
Today, 16, at
eleven in the morning, our group started the evacuation of Sumbu Sherpa to
Katmandu, where we hope that, if the weather permits, a helicopter would take
him in the first hours of the morning of May 17.
Once this job
is done, which is a priority for us, our group will meet tomorrow to decide
the next steps of the expedition.
Sebastián Álvaro Lomba, Director
of 'Al filo de lo Imposible'
Hirsch, Commander, Chief of the Expedition of the Military Group of High
from Spanish by Jorge Rivera
Expeditions on Makalu Spring 2005
West Pillar Spanish Expedition 2005
Alberto Ayora Hirsch
Angle Villan Polo
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